Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Season wrap: Virginia Tech
By Andrea Adelson
Virginia Tech ended up making progress this season even though it did not feel that way for most of the year. The Hokies produced a top-10 defense, some stellar freshman performances, and more overall and league wins than they did a year ago. But they also lost uncharacteristically to Boston College, Duke and Maryland and ended the season with a tough 42-12 defeat to UCLA in the Hyundai Sun Bowl after quarterback Logan Thomas got knocked out of the game in the first half. Thomas and the Virginia Tech offense remained ineffective despite a new offensive coordinator, ranking No. 101 in the nation. Among programs with top-10 defenses, only Florida had a larger ranking disparity between its offense and defense.
Offensive MVP: Logan Thomas. The offense had its share of problems once again, but Thomas definitively proved he was the most valuable player in it when he got hurt against the Bruins. Without him, a close game turned into a rout. Thomas ended up with a better completion percentage, higher QBR and fewer interceptions than a year ago.
Defensive MVP: Jack Tyler. Plenty of terrific performances on the No. 4 defense in the nation, but we are going with the team leader. Tyler racked up 100 tackles for the second straight year, with 4.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hurries, and he was a second-team All-ACC selection.
Best moment: Beating then-No. 11 Miami 42-24. The Hokies went into the game off back-to-back losses to Duke and Boston College and had their ACC hopes dwindling fast. But they completely dominated Miami, posting their best offensive performance against an FBS team since scoring 44 against Florida State in the 2010 ACC championship game.
Worst moment: Losing to Maryland 27-24 in overtime. The very next week after that Miami win, Virginia Tech had a turkey of a performance against the average Terps and saw its ACC championship hopes come crashing down. The Hokies' defense could not slow down Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown, who ran for 122 yards and scored three touchdowns.